All the products that enter the supply chain must be coded, and include the information legally required to ensure that they have been correctly processed and that they comply with all quality guarantees. The marking solutions for the agri-food industry are diverse, so it is essential to choose the one that best suits the characteristics of the product. With 25 years of experience and the development of our own printing and labeling technology, at UBS we study each case and propose the most efficient solution.
Tighter quality controls to protect the health of consumers and the development of technologies to streamline operations in the supply chain simplify the path from product birth to arrival at the hands of the end customer. But this simplification requires more complex processes technologically speaking. More efficient and precise processes that guarantee the traceability of each unit, and that not all suppliers are in a position to offer.
The fact of being manufacturers of our own equipment and of developing the software that makes the most of them, allows us to design applications tailored to each client. Our quality guarantee lies in continuous support. We listen and propose, and each proposal is accompanied by the physical print sample, until you find the exact fit.
Within the agri-food industry, we have developed concrete solutions for packaging of processed foods, beverages and dairy products, and fresh foods. Let's go over them.
Coding of processed foods
The types of packaging for processed foods are diverse, and for all of them UBS has a suitable marking and coding solution. The stick pack, a flexible packaging made of laminated material that protects the contents from moisture, oxidation and light, can be marked, in addition to solvent-based ink, with the UV LED technology of our TJX printers. The message is instantly printed and cured, an indispensable case for situations where after printing the product is washed or handled immediately after being printed.
The TJX Series Thermal Inkjet are the ideal solution for consumer packaging, which can include a batch number, expiration date, barcode and logo. The printing is permanent and with high quality, since all our teams work in high resolution.
The UV LED system is also the best choice for glass bottles and jars. On non-porous or satin surfaces, and specifically on a material as demanding as glass, UV LED is the technology that offers a better finish.
The marking of bags
For bag coding, UBS recommends the APLINK Series high-resolution inkjet printers, which print all necessary data, including logos and images, directly onto the plastic or paper surface. An alternative to direct printing is labeling. In this case, the APL Series equipment prints and applies self-adhesive labels of different materials in the required area of the bag.
The marking of shrink-wrapped packs
A very widespread type of packaging is shrink wrapping, as it allows it to adjust to the content and form packs. APL 3500 Series equipment labels according to GTIN regulations at a rate of up to 180 packs per minute. If these are provided with a corrugated cardboard bottom tray, it can be coded during the forming process with the APLINK Series. If, on the other hand, the printing is done after forming and shrinking the pack, the best solution is UV LED ink.
The marking of corrugated cardboard boxes
The corrugated cardboard box is the most widely used packaging in the world. For direct printing on this porous material, the APLINK Series represents a huge advance over traditional flexo printing. If marking is done by labeling, the UBS APL Series is the ideal tool.
When the cardboard in the box is not porous, the APLINK UV LEDs far exceed the benefits of traditional systems: it prints directly on the surface, with an instant cure, they provide flexibility in line format changes, they reduce the operational complexity of the labeling and therefore save costs.
Coding for drinks and dairy products
We have already discussed the marking of glass bottles, consumer packaging, shrink packs and cardboard boxes. Regarding the marking of beverages and dairy products, we will refer to PET bottles and aseptic containers, for which UBS provides specific solutions.
PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles undergo variations in their composition to reduce the use of plastic, as well as in appearance and in the creation of versatile shapes. In any case, the TJX Series printers solve encoding needs with high-quality, permanent, visible, and clear identification.
TJX are also the best solution for aseptic packaging, the use of which is on the rise among dairy products, juices, soups and in infant feeding.
Coding fresh food
In addition to cardboard boxes, the specific packaging for fresh foods are thermoformed plastic trays and expanded polystyrene (EPS) boxes. On trays, where the food product is protected by a plastic film, the most appropriate identification is by means of a self-adhesive label that contains all the information necessary for its correct traceability. Furthermore, maintenance of the cold chain must be taken into account, so that packaging and subsequent marking must be carried out in a refrigerated environment. UBS TJX Series equipment meets the demands of such a delicate process.
As for EPS boxes, the most commonly used packaging for transporting fish, APLINK UV LED systems offer the best quality printing on the surface, including logos and images.
Pallet marking using the APL 8000 Series system
Every food product coding line leads to the palletizing of boxes for distribution. It is a critical moment, since an error in the labeling of the pallets would prevent their correct traceability and, therefore, serious damage to the brand.
The solution developed by UBS is the APL 8000 Series, a real-time label printing and application system designed to meet the GS1-128 identification standards and GS1 International recommendations for pallet labeling. In addition, it is compatible with all OEM print engines on the market.
The APL 8000 Series applies labels to up to three sides, and its flexibility allows it to be adapted to high speed requirements. Thanks to the control through a PLC interface, it is easily integrable into different production and palletizing lines, using synchronization signals and opto-isolated alarms.
Whatever the need for coding, marking and labeling food products, UBS has the right answer, thanks to a wide variety of efficient, sustainable and innovative solutions. Do you have a different need than those contemplated here? We invite you to contact and ask us.